tv The Last Word MSNBC August 7, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
insinuations in the flyer, a schweikert campaign spokesman got to repeat the key phrase, saying, "the mail piece was clearly intended to say "both ways," taking the liberal and conservative side on the issues, said schweikert campaign spokesman." did we say both ways? that's not what we went. you stay classy, republican party. you stay classy with a "k." now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. mitt romney's newest attack on president obama is over a republican idea that was supported by, wait for it, governor mitt romney. >> president obama launched a new line of attack on romney's tax plans. >> they have tried to sell us this trickle-down tax cut fairy dust before. >> don't be fooled by the fairy dust. mr. romney launched an offensive against president obama on the issue of welfare. >> attacking president obama over welfare reform. >> the ad is particularly
outrageous. >> under obama's plan, he wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. >> this advertisement is categorically false and blatantly dishonest. >> there are all kinds of different gymnastics being performed by the romney campaign. >> governor romney himself -- >> signed a letter asking for the same waiver program. >> to give states powerful performance incentives to place people in jobs. >> in 1996, president clinton and a bipartisan congress helped end welfare as we know it. >> the opportunity it gives us to end welfare as we know it. >> end welfare as we know it. >> newt gingrich calling president obama the food stamp president. >> i don't think you have to be the sheriff of nottinham to figure out exactly what's going on here. >> it's like robin hood in reverse. it's romney hood. >> damned right. >> robin hood was stealing from the government. >> romney hood. >> robin hood was a tea party
activist. >> and guess what, it the does not work. >> romney hood! >> it's romney hood. >> if i were to coin a term, it would be obamaloney. >> stiff, awkward, fill in the blank mitt romney. good evening. i'm alex wagner, in for lawrence o'donnell. there are 91 days to go until the presidential election, and there is a telltale sign when a republican knows he's running a losing campaign. ronald reagan's losing campaign for the gop nomination in 1976. "there's a woman in chicago. she has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 social security cards. she's got medicaid, getting food stamps, and she's collecting welfare under each of her names." bob dole's losing presidential campaign in 1996. >> i will vow to end welfare as we know it. i will insist on a swift passage
and i will sign it. >> newt gingrich's losing presidential primary campaign this year. >> obama is the best food stamp president in american history. more people are on food stamps today because of obama's policies than ever in history. if the naacp invites me, i'll go to their convention and talk about why the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. >> and now, mitt romney. >> in 1996, president clinton and a bipartisan congress helped end welfare as we know it, my requiring work for welfare. but on july 12th, president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. they just send you your welfare check, and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. mitt romney will restore the work requirement, because it works. >> i'm mitt romney and i approve
this message. >> that's the new ad released by the romney campaign today. romney repeated that message at a campaign stop in elk grove village, illinois. >> if i'm president, i'll put work back in welfare. we will end a culture dependency and restore a culture of good, hard work. >> this is yet another example of the cognizant dissonance of mitt romney. he claims that the problem is that president obama hasn't created jobs. then claims that people just don't want to work. but maybe this isn't surprising from a millionaire who has referred to himself as unemployed. >> i should also tell my story. i'm also unemployed. >> but back to romney's welfare boondoggle. by now you know two things are a good bet when mitt romney launches a new line of attack against president obama. one, it's probably not true. as reuters clarified today, the purpose of the federal waiver is to empower states to improve the system. the directive from the health and human services department
allows states to the pursue a waiver from the work requirement of the welfare law in order to test alternative strategies that would help needy families find jobs. the aim is to give states some flexibility in how they carry out the welfare law, as some state governors have advocated, rather than sticking to a rigid formula. and number two. if mitt romney is now against something, he probably once supported it. here is governor romney's signature on a 2005 letter from the republican governor's association, which says, "increased waiver authority is an important aspect of moving recipients from welfare to work." joining me now are john heilemann, national affairs editor for "new york" magazine and an msnbc political analyst, john paodespodesta, a former wh house chief of staff to president clinton, and callen
borche borchers, political correspondent for the "boston globe." thank you all for joining me. john, i want to go to you first. the hill reports this is the fourth time the romney campaign or its allies have name checked president clinton and tried to show some difference between president clinton and president obama. what does president clinton think of this latest line of romney attack? >> i think he thinks it's unplugged from reality. we're in the kind of silly season of negative ads, but this one has no basis in fact. one of the things, alex, you did a pretty good job of stating what this waiver authority is all about, but one of the requirements in the waiver possibility that secretary sebelius put forward is that you have to show that you're going to increase employment by 20%, or you don't get the waiver. so unless a state comes in and says that we have a strategy that's more efficient, that's more effective, and will actually put 20% more people into work than our current program, then you'll get the waiver authority.
so it does what i think president clinton wanted it to do in 1996, which is to push the dignity of work and to try to get people into work. >> john, i have to ask you, what does former president clinton make of the romney campaign's attempts to sort of tie mitt romney to bill clinton's legacy? i mean, does he find that as outrageous as a lot of us do? >> well, you know, look, i think anytime that somebody wants to try to put on new democrat clothes, that's probably okay with him. but as long as they -- as long as they're dealing in reality. and i think when they use the record to factually distort what's really going on and to try to create a wedge where there is no wedge, and actually, this is probably a pretty good example of them missing the wedge of welfare and trying to get it back, but they've tried the wedge between obama and clinton, and it just doesn't exist. and i think that the president believes that, again, welfare reform was built on state experimentation. he granted 44 waivers before the
law was even passed to put people into work. and i think as long as this waiver authority is being used for the purposes that he wanted, which is to end welfare, as the way we used to know it, and really support work, i think that he'll stick with president obama. >> cal, i want to go to you. as someone who has sort of witnessed mitt romney's career thus far and has done a great job reporting on it, can you expound on romney's 2005 position on welfare when he was governor of massachusetts, a time mitt romney would not like to have a lot of sunlight shed on? >> sure, alex. it's interesting to note, you know, john's absolutely right. he was advocating a similar type of waiver at the time in 2005. but it's important not to overreach on that argument. i remember massachusetts at the time was one of those 44 states that was already operating under a waiver. it was going to expire that year. and mitt romney was actually called heartless, as far as the work requirements on, you know, welfare recipients in
massachusetts. he wanted to end exemptions for, you know, mothers had children under 2 years of age or women who were in their third trimester of pregnancy he was very stringent on work requirement. it's important to the no overreach and paint him assi someone who was soft on welfare reform. i think this is a case where there's probably not a whole lot of difference between obama and romney on this particular issue and we're making an argument where maybe there shouldn't be one. >> or maybe the romney campaign is making an argument where perhaps there shouldn't be one. i want to draw your attention to romney on fox news regarding the political motive regarding this whole welfare situation. >> you see the president taking action, trying to get the base of his party. he's going one after the other, saying, we're not going to enforce the illegal immigration laws. we're going to extend, or if you will, give a grant away from work requirements. >> that's because, of course, according to mitt romney, president obama's base is just
illegal immigrants and welfare, as you would have it. but really, this is a play by mitt romney to appeal to a certain part of the republican base, or at least white working class voters that he needs to win the election. is it not? >> well, boy, a lot to say about this, alex. john podesta talked about republicans trying to get this issue back. we've got to do a little bit of history. when bill clinton made the notion of ending welfare as we know it part of the core of what he used to run in the 1992, it was a huge political moment. the notion that welfare, resentment towards welfare recipients had been unsuccessfully used, republicans had expoited the resentment of the undeserving poor getting money from the government for a long time very successfully. clinton was ae to make himself a new kind of democrat by making that pledge and then delivering on it. republicans had been frustrated at not having this issue ever since that law went into effect, and it has been an extraordinary success. i mean, anybody who was involved in passing that law in 1996,
republican or democrat alike, looks at what's happened to the welfare population, to labor force participation since then, even in a down economy, there is a lot more work going on, and you have republicans now seeing a little bit of an opportunity here. it's exactly right. there's the most -- the two most troubling things about this are, first, that the ad itself is full of outright lies. the notion that work requirement has ended is a lie. the notion that a waiver is, by definition, not the end of something. it is a bypass of something that continues to exist. john pointed out the things on policy, on the 20% requirement of adding to labor force participation. that's one thing. when romney says this thing about how this is the political motivation of this is to somehow appeal to the democrat base, it is walking right up to the edge of playing the race card. it's not quite there yet, but it's very close. and i think the combination of the dishonesty of the ad and tinkering around with this kind of language puts us into a different place in this campaign and the possibility of going someplace much, much uglier than
any of us want to go, or certainly that we thought we would go this soon. >> let's talk about the exploiting the race issue. when you talk about the term, welfare queen, newt gingrich, food stamp president. isn't this a desperate move by the romney campaign? we know they've had a terrible, terrible summer. can this work for them? >> well, look, up at harvard, there's a great book about the tea party and what the tea party's really all about. and a lot of this, that part of the republican base, it's not actually white working class voters, although that's a part of it, but it's a broader section of the republican party that is very much animated by some of the thing i was talking about before, resentment towards what they think is undeserving americans taking away money that they think is theirs. the romney campaign needs to have that part of the party enthused about his campaign. and in a lot of swing voting segments of the country, where there are a lot of working class voters excited about the president, preying on resentments, making them feel as if the president is a traditional, old-school, liberal kind of democrat, that is right,
that is something that if there was more to it, it could be a very successful political maneuver. given that there is not that much to it in substance, i think it seems a little bit more desperate and gasping and not likely to be effective. but it is something that's had great historical resonance in presidential politics. they've got a lot of money behind this ad and we're going to see if it has more effect than some people expect or hope. >> john, what does the obama administration or the obama campaign need to do in response to this? >> i think they've begun to do what they need to do, which is to push back extremely aggressively on the lies that are contained in advertisement. and i think that you know, at the end of the day, the media has a responsibility here as well. you know, it's not enough just to, once in a while, put up the kn pinocchios and the fact check thing. this is really, i think a turn, as john was suggesting, into some very ugly ground that i think he needs to be, you know, really questioned about. what's the strategy? what's the motivation?
you know, we saw a bunch of the people involved in the romney campaign looking at trying to do this in 2008. i think senator mccain, to his credit, rejected that, but it's creeping back in. and i think you in the media have some responsibility to, you know, to really call it out. >> that's why we have you on the program, john. cal, i want to go to you. in terms of how mitt romney has sort of pivoted in and around the tax question, let's listen to what he said in a fox interview. romney's dissidence was once more on display with respect to the tax policy center. the romney campaign last week derided the tax policy center as partisan and liberal and called its report a joke. let's listen to what mitt romney said. >> the tax policy center in looking at my plan, they haven't looked at the first two things i said. no tax increases whatsoever. as to the tax center, they also said that president obama is raising taxes on middle income people. >> this is on the same day, cal,
that mitt romney called -- coined a phrase, in his words, obamaloney. this has now become a sort of back and forth between the two campaigns about who's lying the worst. what do you make of it? >> yeah, you know, it's a tough debate. and you know, it's funny. i've been looking quite a bit actually at that tax policy center study. and it's a case where they've been cited by both sides, republicans and democrats, including mitt romney, who as you noted, has cited not that study, but that center itself as a credible, independent third party objective resource. so the tax plan is simply a case where they've made the determination that, you know, there's no possible way to keep all of his campaign promises at once. and that one thing that he might have to do would be to eliminate some of the tax benefits that are overwhelmingly enjoyed by middle and lower class voters. the biggest problem for mitt romney is that he hasn't outlined his plan in specific enough detail to fully refute that claim. he has promised not to raise taxes and to maintain progressivity, but hasn't given
us the entire window into how he plans to do that. >> to say the least, the window, i think we're just dancing around with the shades and the sashes at this point. john podesta, john heilemann, and cal borchers, thanks for your time. no one called steve king a dirty liar on national television last week for his unfounded allegation that president obama's mother telegrammed a birth announcement from kenya, so how did harry reid become public enemy number one? that's next. and who's still the queen of tea party hearts m reque hearts? here's a hint. dick cheney called her a mistake. and later i'll introduce you to the man who might just keep mitt romney from the oval office. and no, it's not barack obama. s. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs.
but where is the outrage over conservative conspiracy theories and race baiting regarding president obama and his family? ari melber and michelle goldberg join me next. and speaking of unfounded allegations, we have another wacky theory about mitt romney's vice presidential pick. that's coming up. you'll inevitably find yourself on a desolate highway in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do, you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic. and for the blind spot monitoring that helps remind you that the highway might not be as desolate... ...as you thought.
in the world of politics, there are now two different sets of rules when it comes to matters of outrage. one for the right and one for the left. when harry reid accuses mitt romney of paying zero dollars in federal taxes for a decade, the white house is made to give comment. >> for the campaign, tit for tat at the purely political level, i refer you to the campaign. >> mitt romney gets to go on fox news and for at least the third time, tell the senate majority leader to shut up. >> the message i gave harry reid was put up or shut up. >> he also gets to go on fox news, and for at least the second time, bolster his claim that reid is making a baseless accusation with his own baseless accusation that the white house could be harry reid's puppet master. >> i don't know who gave him this line of reasoning, whether it came from the white house or the dnc or a staffer, but he ought to say where it came from. >> meanwhile, mitt romney faces no questions, no scrutiny
whatsoever, when one of his high-profile supporters goes on cnbc and for at least the bazillionth time, by our count, floats the idea that president obama was maybe, probably, totally, likely born outside of the united states. >> if i were romney, and i'm not, i would say very simply, i will release my returns, which are 100% legit, everything's fine, if you release the information that we want. whether it's his passport records, whether it's his college applications and college records. and i would sort of absolutely -- if i were romney, i would do this. i will release my returns if you release the records that you've been trying to shield for the last four years. >> normally, it would be best to ignore where donald trump is getting his information, but the source is an article posted to glenn beck's website, the blaze. a man named wayne alan root claiming to be a classmate of president obama's at colombia university says, quote, the
obama scandal is at columbia. root says he believes that president obama, quote, attended columbia as a foreign exchange student. what's more, he backseat up this insidious race baiting claim by saying, "call it gut instinct, but my gut is almost always right." so why is this even worth talking about? well, as you heard, this bat crap crazy piece is being cited by donald trump on cnbc. it was picked up by the drudge report. it's even featured on fox news's fox nation website. and it's being read on the air by the loudest voice of the republican party. >> he posted yesterday at beck's website, theblaze.com. obama has a big skeleton in his closet, his college records. romney should agree to release more of his tax returns, only if obama unseals his college records. >> yet there is no outrage aimed
at the right, at rush, trump, or drudge. team romney is not forced into any questions about this. but for questioning romney's taxes, harry reid is made out to be joseph mccarthy. >> isn't this kind of like joe mccarthy back in the era when he said, i have here in my hand the names of 400 people in the state department who were communists. >> harry reid doesn't have any evidence either. this is mccarthyism from the desert. >> he's now revealed for the small, vicious little man that he is. he goes to the senate floor to announce an anonymous accusation, which would have made joe mccarthy blush. >> so why are there two completely different sets of rules? joining me now, ari melber, an msnbc contributor and correspondent for "the nation," along with michelle goldberg, author and senior contributing writer for "newsweek" and the daily beast. i first want to bring your attention to the fact that the guy behind this new claim about
president obama, wayne alan root, actually just spoke to sean hannity. this is what he said. >> i was a pretty connected guy, i knew a lot of people. i knew pretty much everyone, i thought, in the political science department. i never met him, i never saw him, i never heard of him. no one that i know at columbia ever knew him, every met him, ever saw him. it's strange. it's mysterious. doesn't mean he didn't go there, he probably did go there, but was busy smoking pot. >> he thinks the president was probably busy smoking pot and attending socialist meetings. this is something that's made up the republican food chain, or down it depending on where you place these folks. >> it's a powerful account from someone's whose firsthand evidence is, they never met the guy, they weren't there. doesn't matter where this guy went to college, because he doesn't even claim to know anything about barack obama. i think your opening here really showed the problem. which on the one hand, there's a
desire to deny oxygen to this kind of crap, but on the other hand, if you don't deal with it, it bubbles up through the ecosystem, and it is this bizarre reverse image of what happens to much more legitimate claims. if you're talking about the media in terms of washington-based media, they are not comfortable with liberals being aggressive or strong, not in a political context and not in a policy context. so what harry reid said, and i don't think he said it the perfect way, but what he said was, we're not giving up. you haven't given up your returns, you owe them, and here are the kind of questions that come up, and here's what some sources have said. he was very clear about what he was questioning there. and i think george will and bob schieffer and other folks, especially establishment washington folks, don't know what to do with democrats or liberal who is act like that. and as a final point, or a larger context, because it's bigger than harry reid, you know, in 2003, "the guinness book of world records" said we have the largest protests in world history against the iraq war. but if you went out and looked
for media coverage in 2003 or go on google and do a time-sensitive search, you'll see, they were barely covered by d.c.-based media, seriously. if you look at tea party, which was by all measurements a much smaller entity, because it was this conservative protest, it gets a lot more attention. that's a cycle we're still dealing with. >> and look, i certainly think the media is implemented in this. and michelle, off great piece in the daily beast today talking about sort of the media's role. but let's break down exactly what's happening here. you write, "reid's insinuations are pretty tame by the standards of contemporary political combat. the idea that obama has camouflaged his past in order to illegally usurp the presidency requires wild leaps of logic, and if true, would mean that he is a criminal. by contrast, every year more than a thousand millionaires use various legal tricks to avoid paying income tax. reid's claim is not criminal in any case, nor does it imply that romney has broken any law."
>> i don't think it's shocking on the right, because the right loves to play the victim. you know, that's it's whole m.o. what i do think is shocking when you see someone like richard cohen at "the washington post" or some of these other kind of self-satisfied centrist commentators, who are so kind of obsessed with their own version of bipartisanism, that they have to pretend that democratic and republican sins are the same thing, and that the harshest democratic rhetoric is automatically as outrageous as the harshest republican rhetoric. so we've just gotten through a period in which michele bachmann and a bunch of other congressmen have demanded an investigation into muslim brotherhood infiltration into the state department. and you were talking about donald trump. i think an even more pertinent example is the fact that one of romney's senior foreign policy advisers, john bolton has said, what's wrong with asking questions? i think this is a question we should look into. so this kind of insinuation of, we're just asking. you know, if somebody has an answer, i would like to hear it. this is a pretty standard political tactic.
that's a much more outrageous charge than the charge that romney has used a really standard accounting trick that, again, there's a piece in u."u. news & world report" right now about how romney could have done this. he probably didn't do it for ten years, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility at all. >> it may not even be illegal to do what he has done. >> that's kind of the point, right? the point is that we're in the middle of a big debate about what is the proper tax rate for millionaires and for the 1% in this country? and this is a kind of demonstration of how the current tax system works. i mean, the fact is is that he released tax returns that showed him paying, i think it was 13.9%. he won't say that he's paid less that be that -- or he won't say that he's never paid less than that, so i think he almost certainly has paid less than that in the past. >> ari, i want to remind everybody, as the worth "mccarthyism" is trotted out and bandied about, we are also talking about a republican party, elected officials from steve king to gene schmidt, newt
gingrich, mike huckabee, mike coffman, who have challenged president obama's birth certificate or college records. thesis are elected officials, who should be held to the same standard that old mccarthyite, harry reid, should be. and that isn't happening. >> that tells you two things. in this modern environment, you don't even have to be a black president to be challenged. you can be any kind of president. if mitt romney can't handle people asking questions about his financial records and his business records, then he's not ready to be a presidential candidate, let alone president. that's just number one on the fact that we do have an exhaustive process. but number two, i think, is perhaps the most interesting political point here. which is this clearly scares them. there's a reason why they are just hitting the panic button. and that is because the hope was that they could run this out, ro rope-a-dope through the summer and move on, because it is true, the press will eventually get tired of this story if it is old. and what they're finding through harry reid and other attacks, maybe this isn't going away.
a congressman said if this is still alive in september, it's a huge problem. and the problem for mitt romney is, what is he hiding, and is it worse than the political cost of looking like tdick cheney on finance. >> and nobody does a cost/benefit analysis like mitt romney. we have to leave it there. thank you both for your time. there is a conservative running for president and a lot are very excited to vote for him. his name is not mitt romney, but he could keep mitt romney from winning. and isn't the spotlight, sarah palin and her pack of mama grizzlies are back, but do they still have bite? had always called oregon home. until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it. and i knew he was getting everything he needed to stay healthy indoors. and after a couple of weeks, i knew we were finally home!
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coming up, the man who could cost mitt romney the election. we'll introduce you to the mystery conservative who might just steal the race for barack obama. but first, the power of palin. dick cheney pulls back on his comments calling her vice presidential nomination a mistake. that's next. with the spark cash card from capital one, sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it!
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join zyrtec® rewards. save up to $7 on zyrtec® products. let me ask you about the conventions coming up. not on your speaker list so far are governor palin. is she going to speak? >> i can't make that announcement tonight, but certainly she's great and we -- i think a lot of her and hope that she does speak. >> in the spotlight tonight, the awkward relationship between sarah palin and the republican party. when a tampa bay times reporter asked sarah palin whether she would appear at the republican national convention later this month, palin replied, "we'll have an announcement in a couple of days."
that was 14 days ago. an announcement has yet to be made. this election cycle, sarah palin has endorsed five senate candidates who have faced primary elections. of those five, four have won. we're awaiting the result of palin endorsee, sarah steelman's primary tonight in missouri. steelman faces john bruner and todd aiken, who was backed by mike huckabee. all sought palin's endorsement. dick cheney said lately that john mccain's decision to nominate palin for vice president was a mistake. here's palin's response. >> well, seeing's as how dick -- excuse me, vice president cheney never misfires, then evidently he's quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me by the lamestream media, having been written, what i believe is a false narrative over the last four years, evidently dick cheney believed that stf, and that's a chain. >> vice president cheney,
perhaps chastened, dialed back his comments last night. >> it wasn't aimed so much at governor palin as it was dpeagat the basic process that mccain used. my point basically dealt with the process, in terms of that basic requirement, is this person prepared to be president of the united states should they have to step in and be picked. and it was my judgment, i thought the mccain process in '08, had it be well done or was it a mistake, and i thought it was a mistake. joining me now, karen finney and jonathan capehart of "the washington post." karen, let me go to you first on this. is sarah palin still powerful enough that dick cheney, who many would call the emperor palpatine of the republican party is scared of her? >> apparently so. how fun was that to watch dick cheney have to walk himself back and untwist out of a knot he got himself into over sarah palin of all people. but the reality is, not only -- i mean, she has a good record, obviously, this time around, and
she had a pretty good record in 2010 as well with her endorsements. but she can galvanize a part of the base of the party that a lot of these guys cannot get to. and they know that. and particularly, when you look at what it's going to take to win this election. and by that i mean, this is an election that will be won inch by inch, on the margins, every vote is going to count. you can't afford to have sarah palin angry and you can't afford to have her, you know, sort of take her marbles, if you will, and go home, and not come out and support and do everything she can for the nominee. >> jonathan, if dick cheney is scared of sarah palin, what does that mean for mitt romney? of course, the big question is whether she's going to have a role at the rnc, at the convention this summer. how big of a role does mitt romney want sarah palin to have? >> well, i don't know pip mean, i agree with everything that karen just said. in an election wherer every vote, and i mean every vote is going to count, the republican party doesn't need to have sarah
palin, not just take her marbles and go home and be angry, they don't want her to take her marbles and sit in her at-home studio in alaska and blast the hell out of republicans and the republican candidate from her studio there in alaska on fox news. they don't need that, they don't want that to happen. but also, it's just sort of bowing to the reality that in 2008, it was sarah palin who was the star of the mccain/palin ticket. remember, after the convention, the word had gone out that john mccain and sarah palin would then leave st. paul, minnesota, and campaign separately. but they saw from the hall that night of her speech that there was no way that they could campaign without her. so you need to have that person who galvanized the party, reenergized the party in 2008, you have to have her inside the tent in 2012. and it's worth noting, karen, you talked about this. the winners that sarah palin has pick d picked, and certainly there have been a host of big winners when we're talking about the
republican bench. everyone from nikki haley to susanna martinez, rick perry, rand paul, marco rubio. these are sort of the royalty of the republican party. but jonathan makes a fair point, which is at the end of the day, even if sarah palin's in your corner, it's still always about sarah palin, is it not? i mean, at the end of the day, i found this staggering. palin has spent, the sarah pac has spent nearly $1 million on an array of items, such as travel and staff, but only $15,000 -- this is according to the washington journal -- "the wall street journal" -- that went to individual candidates. it is the sarah show. >> and kind of like that family vacation that we saw last summer, right, that was actually something of a listening tour. i mean, look, the challenge that these guys have here, and i think from the language that you're hearing from rines priebus to sarah palin, that language, really what they're saying the translation is, we're still negotiating my role. and clearly they have not come to her with something that she
feels is appropriate. i mean, that's how i read, you know, between the lines in terms of what's being said here. i've got to say, though, if i'm the vice presidential nominee of 2012, i don't want sarah palin having a very big role. not just mitt romney, but can you imagine being the newly minted vice presidential nominee on the romney ticket, which is going to be a tough enough spot to be in as it is. you don't want sarah palin coming up behind you and overshadowing you with the base of the party. that's the last thing you need when it's supposed to be about the rollout of, you know, this is our ticket, we've got to focus on winning. >> jonathan, the number one bona fide for any sarah palin endorsee seems to be a mama grizzly, and the question is, can she ever call mitt romney a mama grizzly? >> i don't think so. and i don't know if she's even calling mitt romney anything. i mean, has she endorsed him? has she said, he's one of us? again, one of mitt romney's,
probably his biggest problem, is that he's still trying to convince the base of the party, the conservatives in the party, the sarah palins of the party, that he is one of them, he is one to be trusted. and if he can't get them on his side, and if he can't get sarah palin on his side, then he's in big trouble. >> mitt romney still has to prove his bona fides. karen finney and jonathan capeha capehart, thanks for joining me tonight. >> thanks, alex. coming up, you can find just about anything on the internet these days, including wild theories regarding mitt romney's running mate. "the new york times" numbers guru rick silver joins me to dissect the web clues you should be paying attention to. and we'll meet the man that may cost mitt romney the election. that's next. gs she does still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved
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out mitt romney's pick for the republican vice presidential nomination, might the tea leaves be digital? a surprising place to look for vp clues is coming up next. silver and bronze... ♪ it's the red. it's the green and yellow. it's the red, white and blue. because at the olympic games, it's not the color you go home with that matters. it's the colors you came in and when colors mean this much, you can only trust them to tide. so help keep your country's colors true, with tide.
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mitt romney, likewise, has his own fair share of hurdles. secret tax returns, swiss bank accounts, and his general inability to convince anyone of anything that may or may not relate to policy, leadership, or what he bought at the hardware store. add to this list of problems a man named virgil gude. who is virgil gude? according to "time" magazine, virgil gude is the man who may cost mitt romney the election. a former state senator, virgil goode is running for candidate on the constitutional party, and he's on the ballot in virginia. a mid-july robo call showed goode capturing a whopping 9% of the vote in the state, or more specifically, 9% of votes that mitt romney would like to call his own, giving president obama a 14-point lead. but never mind those two guys. what would president virgil
goode offer the american people? according to his campaign website, virgil goode will prioritize deficit cutting. he will make english the official language of the united states. he will issue a moratorium on green cards until the national unemployment rate is below 5%. he will end the anchor baby situation and presumably, therefore, strike certain parts of the 14th amendment of the u.s. constitution. and he will firmly oppose any union between the united states, mexico, and canada. more recent polling shows a much tighter race between the president and the former massachusetts governor. a real clear politics average has obama up by 2.8%. still, 2.8% might be just enough of a window for the anchor baby 14th amendment green card u.s./mexico/canada trifecta-averse virgil goode to squeeze in and really foul things up. lucky for mitt romney and the
gop, the virginia board of elections on monday voted to ask the state attorney general to investigate suspected petition fraud on forms submitted by goode's part to get him on the ballot. which might mean, no more pesky virgil goode. this just might be the stroke of luck the republican party has been waiting for. if not, they might have to embrace a distinctly anti-immigrant, isolationist platform, based largely on fearmongering, simply to gin up a few more votes. oh, wait, never mind. they already have. coming up next, just when the romney campaign needed another distraction, another unfounded report about his vp pick pops up on the internet. how do we know it's unfounded? that's next. [ donovan ] i hit a wall. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard."
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have all been giving speaking engagements at the rnc convention. so they're off your long list? >> you don't think that we would be so silly as to not provide from time to time the capacity to throw people off, do you? >> that was mitt romney today, once again providing absolutely no clues regarding his vice presidential pick. undeterred by a seeming lack of evidence, drudge report announced that president obama whispered to a top fund-raiser this week that he believes gop presidential hopeful mitt romney wants to name general david petraeus to the vp slot. general petraeus quickly knocked down any speculation this afternoon in a statement from his spokeswoman. "director petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve his country in his current position, and as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office." but it turns out, as everyone in the world speculates and waits with bated breath for the announcement, wikipedia, as usual, may have the answer first. in 2008, sarah palin's wiki page
was updated 68 times in the days before she was announced to be the vice presidential nominee. joe biden page was updated 40 times the day before obama announced him as his running mate. so who is in the wiki lead today? chris christie page was updated twice. tim pawlenty's, four times. paul ryan, seven times. marco rubio, 22 times. and rob portman's time was updated at least a whopping 103 times. joining me now, one of the most respected number crunchers in the country, nate silver, author of "the new york times" political blog, 538.com. a pleasure to have you on set, nate. >> thank you. >> how much stock can we put into an open source like wikipedia? >> well, you know, those facts are managed by a consensus of people, but certainly if you're going to have a national rollout, especially for a candidate like palin, four years
ago, who was not very well known, you want that rollout to be good. a lot of people's first instinct is to go to wikipedia, if you're not familiar with the candidate. i mean, 103 changes to rob portman's page is quite a lot. i didn't know there were 103 facts worth knowing about rob portman. >> i don't know if rob portman knew there were 103 facts worth knowing. but in terms of the wisdom of the crowd, i mean, there are various conspiracy theories about how involved the romney campaign is in throwing people off the scent. there's this mysterious bus tour he's embarking on, some people that's just to confuse matters. the candidate himself said, you know, do you think we'd be so silly as to not sort of throw you guys off the scent? when it comes to this stuff, intrade is another area where folks go to sort of read tee leaves. and intrade is ranking the republican vp nominees. rob portman is at the top with a 30% chance. tim pawlenty's at a 20% chance. marco rubio, 11.9. paul ryan, 9.6. condi ryce is still there at 2.3. chris christie, 4.6.
where do you put intrade as a predictor of this sort of stuff? those numbers look pretty reasonable to me. i think rob portman might make a lot of sense. but in general, this is just kind of people betting on their conventional wisdom. there's not a lot of information here. it's not a case where you have your polls and i have my -- it's more consensus like, we're all speculating, and here's kind of what the average person is speculating. it's kind of fun, but it doesn't mean we really have any real insight. >> what is intrade's sort of record on getting politics right? >> so when there's quantitative stuff to analyze, like polls, so analyzing election results, it's pretty decent. when it's more subjective, for example, supreme court decisions that had obama care overturned instead of upheld, that's a case where it didn't do very well. like the michael jackson trial or vp picks. i doubt that sarah palin was very high on intrade four years ago at this time. >> well, nate silver, number cruncher extraordinaire, who is your pick for